By Nicole M. Hilton, May 9, 2018
If Christ is real, then there is hope. By overcoming evil and all sin, Christ saved us. Whether on Earth, after death in the Spirit World, or during the Millennium we will all have a chance to accept this free gift, which includes forgiveness, cleansing, healing, and restoration into God’s presence. It’s free, and it’s a package deal. But we must CHOOSE it and BELIEVE Him. I have reason to believe.
In November 2017, I was attending an energy healing retreat at the Homestead Resort in Midway, Utah.
One night, as I knelt by my bedside about three days into the retreat, I had a peculiar awareness of “tuning into” something, as if I were a radio and I was dialing into a frequency. I simply said the words which came into my mind, which were, “Heavenly Father, I ask tonight to look into the eyes of someone who loves me. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” It was one of the shortest prayers I’ve ever said, but I knew that the words were divinely inspired.
I got into bed with a child-like faith that my prayer would be answered. As I was falling asleep, I had a little conversation between two parts of myself—one of the perks of someone who has multiple personalities. The childlike part of me asked, what if…what if it’s Jesus who loves me?
I had another part of me retort, of course He loves you, you dork. Don’t you remember the time you could hear His voice and He joked with you for ten straight hours? Or when you had a near-death experience and He supposedly gave you a tour of Heaven?
The childlike me then answered, well, yeah…but I mean, what if it’s His eyes I’m going to look into tonight?
The other parts of me had nothing to say to that.
That night, I had a vivid dream.
In the dream, I was leaving a Target in a big city I didn’t recognize. I was carrying several bags, and I walked through a half-empty parking lot towards my car—which was very far away for some reason. To get to it, I had to walk underneath a huge overpass to a different parking lot. Just as I stepped back into the sunshine from underneath the concrete pillars, I heard a man’s voice.
I turned around. I saw a laid-back young man who was sitting on one of the concrete barriers, his hands in his pockets. A gust of wind picked up some trash around his feet, then ruffled his bangs so that they fell across his eyes. He looked to be somewhere around 25-30 years old. He had tousled dark hair, an arrogant “too cool for school” college-drop-out air about him, and he slouched a bit. He was wearing ripped jeans, a dark unzipped jacket, and looked like he needed a shave and a place to sleep other than someone’s couch. Or was he homeless? I couldn’t tell.
“You got any change?”
I felt exasperated. Here I was carrying all these heavy bags, and the guy wanted me to stop what I was doing and give him money? But right when I was about to dismiss him and walk away, a little voice inside of me said, stop.
So, I stopped. Giving him a look which clearly said, this is inconveniencing me, so I hope you’re happy, I put the bags on the ground, and opened up my purse. I got out my wallet, and unzipped it. To my embarrassment, all I found was a quarter.
“Um…I have a quarter,” I said, lamely.
“Ah—the widow’s mite! I’ll take it,” he said. I raised my eyebrows at the expression. He extended his palm towards me, and everything seemed to slow down as I let go of the quarter. It spun through the air, the sunlight reflecting off of its face. Then it landed in his palm. His hand hovered in the air for a moment, and I had the strangest thought—that’s the most beautiful hand I’ve ever seen in my life.
Then time sped back up. He pocketed it.
I shook my head a bit, trying to clear the trance I seemed to have been under. I then sighed, thinking, are we finished?
The next part of the dream was strange. I picked up my bags and started back to my car, but he followed me. We talked for a little bit, but this part of the dream passed by in a moment and it felt as if I was watching the scene take place from underwater—as if it was meant to be blurry. I don’t remember any details, except that I got the impression he was inordinately interested in every aspect of my life—to an excessive degree. I wondered if he was a bit off-kilter—for, I thought, nobody in their right mind would ever act this interested in a perfectly good stranger. Finally, ten paces away from my car, I tried to shake him. I spun towards him and I said, pointedly, “Okay, bye…” with a smile, then turned slightly to go.
This is where the dream became a genuine vision. All the details came into sharp focus. I could see, smell, taste, hear, and feel everything. My chest expanded. I breathed the air and could detect a slight hint of smog from above the city. The sunlight directly above us threw a short shadow behind the man’s shoes. The shopping bags cut into my fingers, and I could hear the cars far away on the overpass.
“You don’t recognize me, do you?” he asked, smiling. His eyes were playful—no, not just playful…they danced.
I turned fully back towards him, and then the familiar dread hit me. I studied his face, racking my brain. I thought, now all the talking makes sense. This guy does know me! And, to my shame, I realized I did not know him.
These situations of not knowing someone who I should know are very embarrassing for me. They happen often and I feel like I have to explain myself. You see, I have memory problems. But they aren’t your normal run-of-the-mill “I’m horrible with names!” kind of memory problems—I have dissociation because of trauma, and I’ve had it since I was seven. It’s what comes with the territory when you have Dissociative Identity Disorder—amnesia is often an accompanying symptom.
Other people’s memories work like a bucket; they can forget something in their past, but then after some digging they can eventually draw things out. But mine is more like a pit of quicksand. Things going in run the risk of getting trapped–deep underneath, never to surface again. Sometimes, repressed memories might surface, but most of the time, all you can see—or all I can remember—is what is happening on the top level. That is my reality. Having a mind and fragmented memory like mine is uncomfortable and a touchy subject.
So, now that I was studying his face, I wondered if this man knew I had a memory problem. Is he trying to press my buttons? I thought. If this was true, why was he looking so playful about it? My memory was a sensitive subject for me! Who on Earth is this guy?!
Again, he said, “You don’t recognize me, do you?” He smiled and I swear his eyes were doing the Samba.
I thought, there’s NO WAY on earth this guy knows about me, or my memory problem…yeah, he’s acting like he’s my best friend, but for sure I’d remember someone if they knew me this well. He’s probably just crazy. So, I answered him the way I usually answer all people from my past who come asking me to remember them and any shared memories we made together.
“I’m sorry, I have brain damage,” I said, in way of explanation. “And you are…?” I smiled, although I realized halfway through the smile that I was sounding a bit passive aggressive. I hoped my face wasn’t turning red. My brain searched for answers as to who this man was and his strange behavior. Maybe we had attended a college class together?
“Oh, I remember you very well,” he said, grinning.
I stared at him pointedly, not breaking eye contact or blinking, waiting for him to explain who he was. But he didn’t give me that satisfaction. He continued,
“So, you said that your goal was to ‘ascend’ and talk with God and all that… did any of that ever actually happen to you?”
Alright, this guy was getting on my nerves, I decided. He was too pushy and irritating for my taste—especially when talking about my spiritual aspirations and God, my favorite and sacred subjects. And when did I mention in a college class that I wanted to meet God anyway? Well, it was possible I had…but I couldn’t remember. Big surprise.
And adding insult to injury, he was asking me to talk about an occurrence I had to have faith to believe had even happened.
In 2011, I had been put in a mental health ward on the island of Kauai. I don’t remember those seven days—all I remember is that I wasn’t in my body, or even on this planet, for that matter. I was…elsewhere. For seven days, I believe I was in Heaven, with Jesus.
The nurses there at the hospital said that my nearly-comatose body was muttering things about being in Christ’s arms, and about being in Heaven. After seven days, I remember coming back to my body, and the experience of where I’d been was veiled from my memory. Yet, there has always been this deep knowing I was with God.
Up until that moment, where I was standing in that parking lot in this dream or vision with this homeless man, parts of me had doubted that I had had a type of near-death experience in 2011. But, as I looked into the man’s playful eyes, I had all the evidence I needed, right in my heart. And that said more than any scribbled nursing station notes ever could.
I thought, this guy isn’t going to believe a word I say! Why cast my pearls before swine?! Or…is he testing me? I decided to ignore that, and I pushed it to the side again. If he was acting, well…then he was the best actor in existence.
“So, you said that your goal was to ‘ascend’ and talk with God and all that… did any of that ever actually happen to you?” he had said.
“Well, would you believe me if I told you?” I asked.
He put his hands in his pockets and shrugged his shoulders. “I’d have to, wouldn’t I?”
I paused, then said quietly, “Yes, it happened.”
“Haha! Yeah right.” He shot back, chin jutting upwards. He was looking down his nose at me. A funny little smile was playing about his mouth.
I don’t know what came over me, but in the blink of an eye I dropped all of my bags and I grabbed the guy’s elbow firmly with my right hand and looked him straight in the face. I said—my voice low and dripping with resolve, “I have seen my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I have talked with God!”
The determination and conviction with which I said this and the surety in my voice surprised even me.
Then something happened I could not have anticipated.
Our faces were a foot apart, and we stared each other down. My fingernails dug into his jacket and I could feel the muscles above his elbow tense up. He knew I was serious. All the playfulness left his eyes, and all pretense was gone. I saw a man in him emerging I hadn’t seen while crossing the parking lot—a man with more wisdom than many lifetimes could offer. Suddenly, he grabbed my shirtfront by its neck so quickly that I didn’t have even a split second to react. He pulled me upwards so that I was on tiptoe, and close to his face until our noses were almost touching. I wasn’t even aware of my body as I got closer and closer. His eyes were blue. I was so close to him that when I focused on his right eye, it expanded and became my whole world. I went from shock as my heart leapt up into my throat, to absolute wonder and awe. I saw every shade of blue in the folds of his iris—royal blue like the deep ocean, sapphire blue like cascading cut gems, turquoise blue like stone or blue lightening—and a million other shades which flowed toward me and consumed me. His pupil became bigger and bigger, and then…I fell in.
I fell into what I thought was an inky black hole, but then it became the entire universe.
I saw all of space and time in its breathtaking kaleidoscopic grandeur. Planets, stars, and galaxies without end, as varied in form and color as one human varies from another. Spiral galaxies like discs flinging diamonds into the vastness, clustering in groups too mighty in scope and magnitude to comprehend. Planetary systems timed to perfection, and clouds of gas and dust which formed nebulae which bloomed outward into an infinite space like mandalic flowers. Planets being formed and put into orbit, stars being birthed at the center of rotating clouds of energy and swirling matter. Galaxies upon galaxies, heavens upon heavens, each one important and beautiful, but which held as great a weight in importance to God as a teardrop upon the lashes of a small child.
As I traveled at the speed of an unknown guide’s thoughts through the entire universe, my words echoed through my mind: I have seen my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I have talked with God. I have seen my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I have talked with God… the words seemed to whisper from every corner of every galaxy, over and over like a sacred mantra.
I saw and heard all of this in an overwhelming second, which seemed like an eternity, and I could have gazed upon the scene forever and never have grown tired of it. But suddenly it all zoomed back out, I came out of His eye, and I was back to myself. He loosened his grip and gently put me back down on my feet, letting my shirtfront go.
“Yes…you have,” He said.
I stepped back. All I could do was stare at those blue eyes, my mouth slightly open.
The man looked at me, his gaze piercing. He seemed to be sizing up every cell of my body as if libraries of information were kept there for Him to look upon. “It’s written all over you.”
I gazed upon Him, and just before I could fully comprehend who He was, I woke up.